Professional Responsibility

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON, TUE, WED 10:30 - 11:20 am TNH 3.142

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Final May 6, 2008 1:30 pm A-K in 2.137
L-Z in 2.139


This course on lawyers' professional responsibilities will focus mainly on the conduct of lawyers and other professionals in civil litigation. Other forms of practice, such as transactional lawyering, prosecuting crimes, etc., will be covered, but will receive less attention. One premise of this course is that the practice of law (by all lawyers in private practice) is a business as well as a profession. Economic incentives therefore matter greatly to lawyers across private practice settings. Incentives also matter to clients, both because they influence the quality of service lawyers provide and because they govern the cost burden legal services entail. A second premise is that an attorney who has not yet violated a rule of professional conduct should always have at least one safe course of action under the rules. A lawyer who has acted improperly may be forced to choose among options all of which expose the lawyer to liability or other sanction, but a lawyer who has obeyed the rules should never face this predicament. In keeping with the focus on litigation, this class will pay particular attention to insurance defense arrangements, lawyers' responsibilities in multiple-client representations and settlements, fee awards, and related topics. This course fulfills the Professional Responsibility requirement for graduation. The exam will last two-hours, will be taken in-class, and will be open-book and open-notes. The exam may be essay or multiple choice in format, or it may combine both formats.